Building tomorrow’s leaders today – lessons from the National College for School Leadership

by | Jun 20, 2012 | Articles

The National College for School Leadership is where the future heads of our country’s schools are trained to become effective and inspirational leaders.

The College already had an accelerated learning programme in place for those from an educational background, but it recognised that for those who had an interest in becoming a headteacher from outside of teaching, something different was required.

Similar to a squirrel sizing up the juicy nut encased inside a hard shell, the College had to find ways to develop a diverse group of individuals coming from non-educational backgrounds. Tomorrow’s Heads became the answer, and this case study shows how blended learning can ‘extract the nut’, or talent, from a diverse group of experienced business leaders, and produce excellent school leaders of the future.

Developing leadership skills
The National College’s challenge of developing the skills of those on the Tomorrow’s Heads programme is shared by business leaders : that if the UK is to experience economic recovery then it must develop the qualitative and quantitative skills of its leaders in order to;

  • Improve efficiency
  • Improve productivity
  • Increase agility

For the College, this meant working with partner Lightbox to develop an innovative online approach to the online element of the Tomorrow’s Heads programme, to prepare participants to become inspirational educational leaders.

Facing the challenge
On the road to developing a bespoke elearning solution, the College and Lightbox faced a number of challenges that they would need to overcome, including:

  • Changing to a modular delivery – in line with the national policy to move away from commissioned programmes towards school based delivery.
  • Diversity of participants – Trainees will come with very different experiences and possess a wide range of learning styles, knowledge and perceptions of school environments. They will therefore require a highly-personalised approach that will allow them to quickly develop new skills and enhance existing knowledge.
  • Competency-based curriculum – The diverse mix of existing knowledge will mean that the learning has to be structured around what is familiar territory for the entrants: a set of management and leadership competencies. This approach will allow participants to quickly identify their existing strengths and those areas where they need to develop.
  • Educational context – As some participants were drawn from outside education, providing a context for the competencies and learning is highly important. Not only will participants have to develop the necessary leadership skills, but also how they will relate to the classroom, pupils’ learning and managing the school workforce.
  • Pressure – Being a headteacher is a highly responsible and pressured role. The materials will need to convey both the stress of the role and the rewards that it brings. The online experience will have to allow the participant to appreciate the need for quick, decisive decision-making and how to consider and evaluate the likely outcomes that would result.T

The Tomorrow’s Heads programme at the National College and the emerging Modular Curriculum content provides some powerful lessons on how to develop the talent of leaders from diverse backgrounds in any organisation.

So how did the Tomorrow’s Head programme achieve this? Click on the case study below to download

This case study has been independently investigated and developed by Towards Maturity as part of our Good Practice Partnership with eLearning Age and the eLearning Awards. It was first published in eLearning Age Magazine in 2012.

Related downloads

Compare your L&D strategy with the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check

Compare your L&D strategy

Review your L&D strategy to discover your strengths and opportunities for improvement with the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check.

Featured content

Challenging Perceptions

Challenging Perceptions

The corporate learning market is rapidly evolving to meet the ever-changing demands of work and worker. The C-suite and L&D leaders can no longer ignore that over 90 percent of organizations do not realize the full value of their investments.

All you need is Evidence

All you need is Evidence

Every year over $400billion is spent on corporate learning globally, yet only 15% is proven to stick. Investments in learning are continuing to grow year on year but performance impact is not changing. The industry is still struggling to provide real proof of impact, in fact, for the first time the Towards Maturity Index is tracking a significant decline. This is causing leaders to have low confidence levels in L&D.

The Towards Maturity Journey: FirstPort

The Towards Maturity Journey: FirstPort

Having clear evidence is a vital starting point in identifying where improvement is needed and backing up your business case for change. We spoke with Emma Smith, Head of Talent at FirstPort Limited, a residential property management company. She had used the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check in a previous role and has now brought this tool to her new organisation in order to help transform their workplace learning culture.

The Towards Maturity Journey: Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

The Towards Maturity Journey: Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Towards Maturity Learning Health Check provides an ideal starting point for organisations wanting to improve their development, by giving clear evidence and comparisons with high-performing learning cultures. To get a real idea of how the Health Check has a proven business impact, we spoke with Robin Lilly, Capabilities and Leadership Development Director of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, to hear his experiences.

Featured

Challenging Perceptions

Challenging Perceptions

The corporate learning market is rapidly evolving to meet the ever-changing demands of work and worker. The C-suite and L&D leaders can no longer ignore that over 90 percent of organizations do not realize the full value of their investments.

All you need is Evidence

All you need is Evidence

Every year over $400billion is spent on corporate learning globally, yet only 15% is proven to stick. Investments in learning are continuing to grow year on year but performance impact is not changing. The industry is still struggling to provide real proof of impact, in fact, for the first time the Towards Maturity Index is tracking a significant decline. This is causing leaders to have low confidence levels in L&D.

The Towards Maturity Journey: FirstPort

The Towards Maturity Journey: FirstPort

Having clear evidence is a vital starting point in identifying where improvement is needed and backing up your business case for change. We spoke with Emma Smith, Head of Talent at FirstPort Limited, a residential property management company. She had used the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check in a previous role and has now brought this tool to her new organisation in order to help transform their workplace learning culture.

Our Ambassadors

Our Supporters also influence Towards Maturity's Health Check and research, providing insights on future trends and practices that should be investigated.

Pin It on Pinterest